OLYMPIA– Washington state has agreed to pay $3 million to a developmentally disabled woman who was raped in 2008 by another patient at a state psychiatric hospital.
The settlement approved Thursday avoids a trial set for this spring on the patient’s lawsuit.
The Department of Social and Health Services says it believes the money fairly compensates the victim, who was attacked at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake, southwest of Spokane.
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The woman’s lawyer, David Moody, says her lawsuit involved claims that officials violated the woman’s civil rights by allowing a patient with a history of violence and criminal activity “to roam free” on hospital grounds.
Director of State Hospitals Jess Jamieson says “We try our best to ensure that our vulnerable patients are kept safe.” DSHS notes that patients in state psychiatric hospitals do not live in locked cells.